Director of Research

  • Center For American Progress
  • Washington DC
  • Jan 27, 2023
Full time Research

Job Description

Reports to: Senior Director of Research
Staff reporting to this position: None
Department: Advocacy and Outreach
Position classification: Exempt, full time; Nonunion - Level 7
Minimum compensation: $92,000
Work site: Hybrid (on-site two days per week, Washington, D.C., office)


American Progress has an immediate opening for a Director of Research in the organization’s Advocacy and Outreach department. The department’s research team is made up of three directors who lead, execute, and plan investigative projects in partnership with the building’s communications, policy, and digital teams. The role will also be responsible for helping ensure all content from the Center for American Progress Action Fund is fair and accurate. The Director of Research’s work will be driven by American Progress’ mission to improve the lives of all Americans through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country.

They will be part of a dynamic department that supports work across American Progress’ five crosscutting priorities:

  • Strengthening health and ending the pandemic
  • Building an economy for all
  • Tackling climate change and environmental injustice
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Restoring social trust in democracy

The Director will be focused on making the case for the progressive economic record and against the failed conservative economic policies by cataloging the impacts of progressive investments, conducting basic statistical analysis and archival research, and curating the larger public record. While the economy has increasingly become more rigged against working families over the past 50 years, conservative leaders have built an embellished and inaccurate economic brand using an increasingly walled-off echo chamber via talk radio, cable TV, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, ensuring their message dominates many Americans’ attention spans. With Americans facing this increasing onslaught of news and media content, it has never been more important for progressives to close this gap and build the necessary genuine arguments that break through the clutter and reach key audiences. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is committed to leading this effort with allies and partners across the progressive space.

The Director of Research will play an important role in this effort through producing analysis and research products for reporters, digital content creators, and progressive voices. The successful candidate for this role will be a leader in a growing cross-organization effort that builds and curates the evidence of the progressive economic case to make American Progress’ arguments more impactful, persuasive, and digestible for a variety of audiences. Strong candidates will have impeccable writing and organizational skills, the ability to analyze large data sets, and a librarian’s knack for finding everything from campaign finance records to corporate SEC filings.


  • Work with the Senior Director of Research to develop a long-term strategy and plan for the team’s effort to spotlight conservative policy failures and showcase progressive economic successes.
  • Help manage projects, consultants, and personnel outside of the research team to put compelling research together.
  • Quickly and concisely research and write products for public consumption on a daily basis.
  • Build relationships with external research allies.
  • Work closely with staff across the department to ensure that a research lens and approach are integrated into all American Progress campaigns and efforts, as appropriate.
  • Ensure all of the team’s and larger department’s content meets a high bar of accuracy and fairness through quality control fact-checking procedures.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • 7 to 10 years of professional experience with investigative research and/or in political communications roles.
  • Previously demonstrated team leadership skills and a high level of competency.
  • Ability to present and build unique arguments that affect targeted audiences.
  • Established relationships across the progressive movement.
  • Political experience on a campaign or with an advocacy group or nonprofit.
  • Strong understanding of progressive values and policies and how they intersect with the news.
  • Detail-oriented with the ability to juggle multiple projects for different stakeholders, often in rapid-response or high-pressure situations.
  • Strong familiarity with research and data resources such as LexisNexis, FEC filings, SEC filings, federal spending data, Quorum, and the Congressional Record, and familiarity with economic measures and statistics.
  • Expert writing skills.
  • Proactive and a self-starter.
  • Creative and committed to innovation and experimentation.
  • Open to developing new skills as needed.
  • Positive team player with a passion for progressive change.

American Progress offers full and competitive benefits packages. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This position is not represented by a union and has a minimum salary of $92,000.

We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and the levels of community spread and adjust plans as needed for in-office work. Any changes to our current hybrid work policy will be communicated at the time of hire. Updates will be posted on American Progress’ Jobs page



Minimum compensation: $92,000